recent purchases -april 2023

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hello to april and a month full of returns. if i could categorize this month’s purchases in one word it would be disappointing. nearly everything i ordered and for which i had high expectations fell extremely short. i suppose it’s probably for the best because many of the items that landed on our doorstep were big splurges, but i’d be lying if i said my spring/summer wardrobe isn’t a little sad about it. perhaps the biggest focus for april was trying to find the perfect little black dress for both a specific event at the end of the month and for my wardrobe as a whole. hard to believe my closet is lacking the style staple, but here we are. spoiler alert: i didn’t end up finding one i loved enough to keep, but i did find four viable options. read on if you’re in the market for one yourself, or if you’re curious to see what i decided to buy. and then return.

thank you for reading! see you next month.

the homeruns

sezane sally blouse (2)* || as i’ve said before, if it’s one (of the dozens) of things sezane does well, it’s a white blouse. i had some credit burning a hole in my pocket so i scoured the archive section on their website and landed upon this dreamy number. it’s from an older collection but still available in most sizes –and it’s on sale for under $100. the scalloped ruffled front is quintessential “shawna” and it’s the perfect addition to my ever-growing white shirt wardrobe. it’s a thin cotton, so it’ll be great for spring and transitioning into early summer, and while it’s sheer, it’s perfectly appropriate with a nude-colored bra. i found it to fit true to size.

sezane danina blouse (2)* || after the aforementioned sezane trousers were a miss, i used the re-added funds to my account to purchase this beautiful floral-print blouse instead. the danina blouse is part of sezane’s editions collection, a slightly-elevated curated selection for the special moments in your life. while most pieces are a bit too fancy for my current lifestyle, this blouse felt fanciful enough to try –in the very least to pair with denim for a rogue date night. i actually set an alarm to wake up at 12:30 a.m. pacific time (9:30 a.m. paris time) to make sure i could snag it because sezane pieces sell out SO DANG FAST. i’m glad i did because when i checked back a few hours later, it had already sold out in most of the sizes! always sign-up for their notifications in case there is a return. anyway, the top is stunning, a true piece of art! it fits true to size and the showstopper is the open back with the feminine bow tie. it is definitely fancier than most of my wardrobe, but something that i’ll definitely wear on a future date night. note to self: schedule our next date night.

the misses

madewell lucie puff-sleeve midi dress (0) || an occasion recently arose that required me to wear a black dress and surprisingly, a black dress has not occupied a space in my closet in quite some time. so the search was on to find the perfect one –in both style (puff-sleeves or ruffled, of course) and fabric (cotton or linen for this time of year). after scouring the interwebs i landed on this midi dress from madewell which, at the time, was fortuitously on sale for nearly half off. when it arrived, it exceeded expectations -the puff sleeves were just the right amount of puff and the smocked bodice fit like a glove. it also had pockets, which is all but a requirement in a dress. however, it didn’t move me. it was simply a nice black dress. and while it would have worked for the event, i knew it wouldn’t be an item in my closet that would log frequent wear. i will say, the fabric is quite thin so if you can snag it at a discount, i would highly recommend you do so. it is not worth its full price tag.

banana republic selene embroidered midi dress (xs –ordered in black) || in an attempt at giving myself the most options for landing upon the perfect LBD, i also ordered this ruffled dress from banana republic. i had eyed the white version when it was first released but was happy to note they offered the same style in a noir shade to be appropriate for the occasion. the sizing reviews were helpful in me opting for the extra small, especially since it didn’t offer a defined waist. unfortunately, the style ran big because even the extra small was too big on my frame. i liked the silhouette and the tiered ruffles, but it did read a tad bit matronly once i had it on my body. at nearly $200, i needed it to be AMAZING for me to keep it and it just simply fell short. thankfully i had two more options to try.

and below are the two other options i tried and did not like, lol.

en saison brielle dress (xs) || having tried on a version of this dress before, i was all but convinced the style would be the winner. but you guys, the fabric was terrible –a stiff cotton that felt much cheaper than its $120 price tag. said fabric choice was also the culprit for the lack of flowy-ness and ultimately made the dress feel a bit unpolished and frumpy (not to mention that it runs oversized, i sized down). not even the addition of pockets could redeem it so i promptly returned it to the delivery bag and initiated my return.

madewell madilynn ruffle neck lucie midi dress (2) || the fourth dress in my LBD journey was this ruffle neck frock from madewell. i was drawn to the frill and eyelet detail and while it was charming in the photo online, it felt a bit juvenile in person. of all the black dresses i tried, i will say this one was my favorite for its flattering silhouette, but it just didn’t move me and i knew that it would be one of those dresses i would wear for this specific occasion and then never again. so i decided i’ll wear a dark brown and navy floral dress i already have in my closet and put a pause on my LBD search for another day. thank you for joining me on this journey.

sezane x sea NY augustino trousers (4)* || as you know, i’m still crushing on sezane’s collaboration with sea NY from earlier this year. there are a few lingering pieces from the collection on their website and i decided to throw in this pair of 80’s-inspired trousers to my latest order. my normal size wasn’t available so i took a gamble with the next size up and unfortunately they were just too big when they arrived. i LOVE the fit of them -high-waisted with a slightly tapered leg, but the acid wash and their ill-fit convinced me that my funds could be better allocated elsewhere so i sadly returned them. sezane’s bottoms normally run on the small side, but for this particular pair, i’d say stick with your normal size. if only they came in another color!

aje orbit sculptural pleated top (US4/australian 8) || as soon as i spotted this top in a recent freda salvador campaign, i HAD to have it. then i looked at the price tag and reconsidered. THEN i found it on nordstrom’s website and decided to apply some unused gift cards to help justify the splurge. unfortunately when it arrived and i took it out of is garment bag, i could tell by just looking at it that it wouldn’t fit me. international sizing can always be tricky and even though i sized up, turns out, i needed to size up again. i will say the construction of the top is exquisite and while i could try to track it down in the next size up, i’m taking this as a sign that my funds could be better allocated elsewhere. BUT if you need a show-stopping blouse to wear with trousers or jeans, this top is IT. just make sure to size up!

khaite levine denim skirt (26) || i don’t know if you’ve noticed but long denim skirts are making a resurgence right now. as of the 80’s who spent her formative years in the 90’s and early aughts, i was initially very happy to leave said trend back where it belonged (in the aforementioned time periods) but then freda salvador’s impeccable styling got me again and i saw this tulip-hemmed skirt paired with these sneakers and i was like, okay denim skirts, maybe i’ll take a second rendez vous with you. i know this skirt was a SPLURGE (capital letters necessary), but i couldn’t stop thinking about it and if had worked out, i was fully prepared to style it with a bunch of pieces from my closet to make it worth the investment. it would have been one of those have forever items for sure. unfortunately (or fortunately for my bank account?) the fit was just too tight. i felt like a mermaid or a penguin or both? basically it was very difficult to walk in and just wouldn’t be practical in my current lifestyle (i need to be able to break into a sprint after a rogue toddler at any moment). as far as fit goes, it fit well enough, but i would probably recommend sizing up one in this brand.

freda salvador eddy d’orsay sneaker (9 –sized down 1/2 size) || considering how often i wear my eda sneakers, i decided it would be a prudent decision to order a second option. freda salvador recently came out with a similar version without laces and i loved the slip-on/streamlined look. i opted for a 1/2 size down from my typical 9.5 because they do run slightly big and continue to stretch with wear (they’re leather). out of the box, i loved them, however, after i tried them on a couple more times and walked around my bedroom (as i do to test out any shoes i purchase), i realized that the fit was just not as comfortable as their laced counterpart. since i wasn’t as enthusiastic about them as i hoped i would be, i decided to return them and save the money to purchase a fresh pair of the eda sneakers later in the year. if you’re opting between the lace option or non-lace option, i’d say go with the former for sure!

and what has yet to arrive

after so many purchases, and then subsequent returns, i’ve been taking a breather until i come across something that really MOVES me. this blouse is still idling in my online cart and i just might hit purchase next month. until then, let’s let those refunds hit my account first!


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